Hey, first HOES for me. Hope ya'll like it. I might edit it during the month. Anyways, enjoy (hopefully)...
Nothing but contempt…
The air was brisk and harsh this high up the tower. To the men and women gathered below to listen to their esteemed leader proselytise once again it was pleasantly warm. But the mass of bodies and the internal warmth of the hive had that effect. However, the isolation made it chilly for the lone warrior who had been here for days now. Isolation was not uncommon for this man. Since birth he had been alone. But his solitude had made him stronger. It had given him an assurance these people lacked.
It was a truth reflected wherever you went. In a crowd, everyone could be deluded, but a group of deluded fools can feel confident in their delusion because it is shared by everyone around them. Those who took assurance from those around them never reached higher for fear that their assurance would be torn from them. But up in the lofty altitudes of truth, one had to stand alone and brace the biting cold of mockery and indignation and rest on a solid platform of the knowledge that they were right. Only those with the truth could show them their error.
The crowd was getting restless and even perched here, watching over all like some form of god, the man could feel it. They had just declared independence and thrown off the yolk of a regime they believed was oppressive and cared nothing for them and did not see them. Up until recently they had lived with quite endearment, believing that even if they were right that they could not change it. Then their leader had risen from among them. Told them they could change it, and even if the collective they served did not care, he did. They were about to find out just how much those they had forsaken did notice them.
The man on the tower had lain still for hours, and he could feel his muscles begging him to move, to stretch. He denied their pleas. They must remain still if he was to accomplish his appointed duty. Duty. Something those mites below understand nothing of. All they see is themselves. Their needs. Their wants. Their desires. They fail to realise that they are just a muscle, a cog, a singular part. They are necessary but must function in a set way in order for the body to thrive. Instead they want to be the whole body. And yet, they don’t have the drive, the ambition, the focus. They believe they can make the whole body, except for the head. That they lack, but it has been conveniently provided for them. If the head were to die, the body would fail.
The people were scared, and that was the simple truth of it. Despite the confidence they had recently gained from slaughtering those they felt had wronged them, which had gone to their heads like a powerful amsac, the man with the infinite reach knew it was a façade. He had seen it on every planet he had visited. The people walked as if they were invincible just because they had blindly followed the charismatic man making his way onto the platform. They needed to feel like they could topple everything they had known, otherwise the despair in their hearts which the desperately tried to ignore with even greater levels of depravity and blood-shed would breach their inner walls and overwhelm their souls and they would drown in their own self-pity. They needed to stay on their high, lest they descend into the pit.
Now their assurance had taken center stage. The masses erupted into thunderous applause. Hands that not hours earlier had orphaned children, molested defenseless citizens who refused to yield, toppled their governor, all in the name of some freedom they felt they had been denied, now slapped together in jubilation, as if what they had done was something special or glorious. The architect of this bloodshed stood with his arms outstretched, hoarding all the glory and fame like the same gluttonous overlord they had just dislodged. Desperate hope made people blind, and they failed to see that they had sold their soul to the devil. They did not think God could see them here.
Now was the first time in nearly a day the man moved, and it was only slightly. His head shifted to see better down the scope of his instrument of justice. Where before he had seen the deluded masses with their notion of greatness masking a core of depravity, now he only saw the man who had been the catalyst for it all. Already the man could see the dark nature of the man who had lead a populace to their dooms breaking through his skin. His eyes were a picture of the desires of his heart; black. Whilst the people he had swayed only wanted freedom, the brands on his skin showed that he had already given himself over to a different kind of slavery. A road he intended to lead these people down.
His fanged maw opened to give a speech to the people. He would assure them they had chosen well, that their trust had not been misplaced, that they would be protected. He would tell them everything they needed to hear to continue exactly as he desired; to keep them in the dark, just as their previous rulers had done. The Vindicare watched from his vantage point, nestled in the assurance that he was in the truth amongst and entire world which believed a lie. From this inner well he whispered “Exitus Acta Probat” as he squeezed the trigger of his rifle and his single round blew the heretic’s brain out of the back of his skull before he could utter any words. The people, their only assurance gone, dissolved into a panic. They realised that it had all been for nothing. They had betrayed everything they had known, and now they had nothing. Men who had fought side by side killed each other, frantically trying to atone before anyone found out what they had done. The Vindicare at last left his post, and made his way to the extraction point, no one noticing a lone figure in amongst all the chaos and despair. For men so easily led astray he felt nothing.
Nothing but contempt.
Edit: Word count: 1053 words